McCORDSVILLE – Linda Robinson has lived in McCordsville for 22 years.
“And every time I got to vote, I never see any Democrats on the ballot,” she said.
The political newcomer recalled a tenet former President Barack Obama touted when he was running for office – that people should start local if they want to make change.
“That just kept playing around in my head for years and years and years,” she said.
Now it’s helping compel her to be a Democrat on the ballot in the upcoming general election for one of two at-large seats on McCordsville Town Council. She faces fellow party member Andrea Yovanovich and Republicans Bryan Burney and Scott Jones.
Before retiring, Robinson spent her career working as an information technology manager, financial aid counselor and an employee at a financial company.
She said she has compassion for her town.
“I want to see that the people in our community are listened to and I feel that they’re not,” she said.
Robinson added that when she attends meetings at McCordsville Town Hall, she often feels like officials make decisions that are the opposite of what they’re hearing from their constituents.
If elected, she’d work to bring quarterly forums giving community members time to share how they feel about issues with leaders. It would provide more insight into public sentiment for town committees and boards as they prepare to make decisions, she said.
Robinson hasn’t been a fan of the large industrial developments that have come, are coming and are proposed on the town’s south side. She’s also critical of the tax abatements approved for such projects. Those incentives gradually phase in taxes for real property improvements typically over the course of a decade, and developers often claim they’re needed to offer competitive leases.
One reason often cited by McCordsville officials who support annexations for such projects is that developers could pursue their buildings through county leadership, resulting in a property right up against town without any local involvement or tax revenue.
But Robinson said she finds hope amid other Democrats running for office outside of town and contributing to a sea change against industrial development, like Frank Rock Jr. seeking a spot on the Hancock County Council and Marian Hensley vying for a Buck Creek Township Advisory Board position.
“As a party in Hancock County, we’re looking to see that those things don’t happen, that we have more people that will say ‘no,’” Robinson said.
A sharp rise in residential development is also occurring in McCordsville. Robinson lives in the town’s Austin Trace neighborhood with her husband, Claude, where the Weavers Landing addition continues building out to the south.
“We miss the cornfields,” she said. “But I would rather see homes there, I would rather see apartments there, I would rather see families contributing to our community than warehouses.”
She doesn’t oppose the design standards for the new housing coming into town, but thinks buffering should be stronger between residential and industrial properties.
“They’re building homes that are for middle-class families,” she said. “We’re a middle-class family, so I don’t see any problems with that.”
While there seems to be no shortage of homes coming to town, it does suffer from another deficiency Robinson would like to influence if elected.
“McCordsville as a whole needs more green space, needs more parks, hands down,” she said.